31
Jan
09

A Little Money but a Lot of Dignity

Just got back from Tent City 3.  Last time I was there, the coffee pot was on the fritz.  I had told them that the next time I was there, I would see what I could do.  So I went to the camp today to recruit some help at the store (I’m on a crutch and didn’t think I could manhandle a large pot).

Well…Fred Meyer’s doesn’t carry the large multi-gallon coffee makers.  So I figured, if I was prepared to spend the money on that why not just have a little shopping spree?

I picked up a nice 12 cup coffee maker, 3 packs of Seattle best at $5.99 each, 6 bottles of different flavor syrups, 2 gallons of coffee creamer, filters, 5 12packs  of soda pop, and 5 gallons of juice.

The response was amazing!  All around people were saying things such as “Man, we’re living good now.  Creamer and coffee syrup, we’re like rich folk!  We can have juice AND soda for dinner, we’re living it up!”  The feeling of dignity swept through the encampment.

They insisted I stay and eat dinner.  They rolled out the red carpet.  People were fixing me food, pulling up the 1 padded chair for me, and as I sat down to eat, I was surrounded by folks.  Everyone, it seemed like, wanted to talk to me.  Many were puzzled and amazed at this guy (me) who said “that if it was good enough for me to have at my house, it was good enough for me to get them”.   Their responses blessed me.  They gave me more than I could ever give, they gave me their love, their friendship, their stories.

I spent $100.  $1 a person.  So very little but such a huge impact.  Even if its only for a short time, they were allowed to feel “rich”.  To them, they were living the good life.  We take things for granted so often.  A nice coffee pot, soda in the fridge, electricity, warm water, heat, a bed.  You’d have thought I had just given them something of great value…and I guess I did.  I gave love, friendship, and treated them as equals.

Thanks to Andy who before going out to Tent City 3 kicked in $20 and offered to help out when needs come up.  Bro, I wish you could have made it down and seen just how far $20 can go.

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1 Response to “A Little Money but a Lot of Dignity”


  1. February 1, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I linked to this post at http://newchurchreport.com — I saw Christine Sine’s post about your blog and work, and like what you’re doing and the stories you’re writing. Thanks. Chuck


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